In a week where Mother Nature kept a lot of Winthrop’s teams off the deck, pitch, and field, Winthrop men’s basketball made quite a bit of news.
Having already received verbal commitments in the 2019 class from 6-foot-7 power forward Chase Claxton (Greenville, S.C./Legacy Charter School) and 5-foot-7 point guard Russell Jones, Jr. of Blythewood, the Eagles hauled in a significant prize from head coach Pat Kelsey’s native state.
Shooting guard Josh Corbin, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio, just outside Columbus, announced Wednesday his decision to commit to play for Kelsey’s Eagles. Corbin, listed as a three-star player on VerbalCommits.com, has been one of the hot names on the competitive travel basketball circuit. Corbin, who referenced in his commitment on Twitter his 40.1 percent three-point conversion rate in Nike EYBL (Elite Youth Basketball League), is also highly-regarded by other recruiting services.
247sports.com lists Corbin as the 41st-ranked shooting guard in the 2019 class, and the eighth-best prospect overall in Ohio. He also had listed offers from Duquesne, James Madison, Kent State, Robert Morris, and Toledo.
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Hoops setting dates
Winthrop’s men’s and women’s basketball teams each announced earlier in the week a number of 2018-19 games.
The women’s Big South Conference schedule, announced by the league office Tuesday, accompanies a slate of 11 non-league games announced last month. The Eagles kick off league play with three home games in a row, with Charleston Southern and brand-new Big South foe USC Upstate coming to Rock Hill following the opener against Longwood on Jan. 5. The non-conference schedule on the women’s side features home dates with North Carolina Central (Nov. 14), Newberry (Homecoming, Nov. 17), and Elon (Dec. 9).
The men’s team opens league play at UNC Asheville (Jan. 5) and Campbell (Jan. 10), before returning to Winthrop Coliseum to face High Point (Jan. 12) and Longwood (Jan. 16). Those contests join non-conference tilts on the yet-to-be-announced full slate, including games at Vanderbilt (Nov. 6), at SIU-Edwardsville (Nov. 10), and at Kentucky (Nov. 21). East Tennessee State announced Friday its schedule, which includes a trip to Winthrop over Homecoming weekend (Nov. 17). The Eagles will then go to Davidson (Dec. 4), Southern Illinois (Dec. 22), and Florida State (Jan. 1).
Two teams still in action
Two Winthrop teams were able to beat the conditions and record big wins this week.
Winthrop’s women’s soccer team got two goals from junior forward Allie Thomas, propelling the club to a 2-0 victory over Presbyterian in the Big South opener in Clinton, S.C. Friday afternoon.
Thomas put a try on frame in the 21st minute off an assist from Katie Colwick, putting the Eagles ahead 1-0. Thomas’ second mark came in the 84th minute off a pass from Natalie Royaards, giving Winthrop the two-goal result.
Winthrop (5-2-1) next welcomes new Big South opponent Hampton to Eagle Field on Saturday, Sept. 22. That match will kick off at 1 p.m.
Winthrop women’s volleyball fell in straight sets Friday afternoon in the Furman Tournament against Appalachian State, but bounced back Friday night to take down down the preseason SoCon favorite Paladins, 3-1 (25-20, 13-25, 32-30, 25-20). After the Mountaineers took the afternoon session (29-27, 29-27, 25-20), the Eagles turned away Furman with another big effort from outside hitter Jace Kleffner. Kleffner led Winthrop (4-8) in kills (22) and aces (2). Siani Yamaguchi authored 47 assists, with Carlie Skelton turning in 20 digs.
Eagle volleyball will travel to Gardner-Webb to take on the Runnin’ Bulldogs in Big South play Tuesday night. That match will commence at 7:00.
Women’s tennis places three in national rankings
Three of the stars of the 2017-18 Big South champion Winthrop women’s tennis team will start the fall season ranked in the Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Division I Women’s Preseason National Rankings, it was announced Tuesday.
Doubles team Megan Kauffman and Lauren Proctor, coming off an NCAA tournament appearance last season, are ranked ninth among pairs. Proctor is ranked 26th among singles players, with junior Alisa Soloveva ranked 100th.
The women begin fall team competition at the Elon Invitational (Oct. 6-7).